Instagram Lead Generation: 7 Strategies You Need to Try
Compared to other channels, Instagram is particularly powerful for raising brand awareness, driving organic engagement and boosting your brand’s reputation.
But not everybody realizes that Instagram can also be used as a powerful tool for lead generation. Keep reading to learn how to fullytake advantage of this social media channel.
About Instagram Lead Generation in Brief
You already know that Instagram marketing is awesome for building a following and driving brand awareness, but you might wonder if you can really use it for lead generation to drive sales.
The idea of capturing email addresses and driving traffic from Instagram might seem like too much of a challenge, given that the platform limits outbound links to just one in your bio, and you can’t put any links in captions or comments.
But yes, you can use it for lead generation if you know the right techniques. Here’s everything you need to know about using Instagram for lead generation.
Why Should Companies Bother With Lead Generation on Instagram?
Firstly, Instagram is one of the most popular social media channels, so it’s likely that a lot of your target audience spends time there.
In Q4 2021, Instagram was the most downloaded app, pushing TikTok off the top spot for the first time since Zoom briefly overtook it in Q2 2020 (for understandable reasons) and making it the first time a Meta app has headed the list since Q4 2019.
Although Instagram dropped back to second place in January 2022, it returned to first place in July, marking a massive and sustained comeback for the app.
Instagram doesn’t just get downloaded a lot, it also sees a lot of activity. Instagram users spend an average of 51 minutes on the platform every day, and four out of every 10 users visit it daily, which is more than any other platform.
Finally, Instagram may be the platform most associated with brand activity. Consumers know that it’s the place to go to learn more about their favorite brands and find out what they’re doing.
An Ipsos-Meta survey reported that half of Instagram’s community uses the app to discover new brands, products or services and even make the most out of Instagram shopping.
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7 Tactics for Generating Leads on Instagram
Now we’ve established how much potential Instagram has for lead generation. Here are the tactics you need to make it into a reality.
1. Optimize your Instagram bio for lead generation
People who visit your Instagram account show that they are interested in your brand. So, this is a great space to use for pushing them another step along your sales funnel.
First, set up an Instagram business account to get more business-specific features. Second, optimize your bio to reflect your brand and encourage people towards another micro-conversion.
Your bio needs to include:
- A good profile photo, which would usually be your logo or a professional head and shoulders shot
- A well-written description of your brand’s values, purpose, and what you do. This should include:
- A keyword optimized for your business: “personal chef” or “mobile app design”
- A call to action: l“Join my email list” or “Learn more”
- A detail that builds authority: “Voted the best blueberry pancakes in Ohio” or “over 10k happy customers”
- A link to your website, landing page, or link in bio page (more about that below)
- The right action buttons
Vanessa Lau’s bio is a great example. She has a tagline that tells you exactly what she can deliver, together with two authority-building details, a CTA to join her Bossgram Academy, and a link to her link in bio page.
As you create your bio, think about what your visitors should do next. Follows are great, but lead generation requires something more.
Think about what you want people to do now. Should they join your email list? Send you a text message? Visit your landing page? You can only place one link in your bio, so make sure it punches above its weight.
If you choose to direct people to your website, make that your clickable link. But also build a customized landing page which delivers all the information visitors need. Finally, encourage them to the next step in the sales funnel.
It’s popular to use a link in a bio tool like Linktree to create a branded landing page that holds content, like a link to sign up to your podcasts, join your email list, schedule an appointment, or make a purchase.
It’s also a great idea to change the button on your bio from a generic “contact us” button to an Action button like Email us, Text us, or Call us.
This removes friction for people to join your email list or get in touch with you, helping them complete a micro-conversion and essentially opting in as your lead to follow up with later on other channels.
2. Use Instagram as a customer support channel
You might not have thought about Instagram as a communication platform for customer support. However, it works very well for that purpose. Once people contact you there, you can continue the conversation elsewhere as well.
After all, people expect to connect with brands on Instagram. So, it feels natural for them to use it for complaints and requests, too. Bear in mind that 90% of Instagram users follow at least one business, and 63% say Instagram allows them to form meaningful connections with brands.
For a start, you can use your Instagram bio to share your contact details so that people can find your email address or phone you, helping you capture more leads even if Instagram isn’t your primary social media channel.
That’s what Air France does, telling people to use Twitter or Messenger for questions and issues.
Another tactic is to use Instagram Stories and Instagram Live to host a FAQ session. In this way you can explain your new features, or to answer people’s questions, especially if you’ve received a lot of queries, complaints or feedback about one specific issue.
Instagram DMs are a way for you to invite customers to get in touch directly and privately. But, make sure that you respond to messages quickly. People are used to fast replies on social media, and they’ll get frustrated if they have to wait.
In the same way, keep an eye on comments on your posts and respond to them quickly too. Even if it’s just a brief “Thanks,” or “I’ll DM you.”
As your business grows, you’ll find social listening tools are helpful to pick up whenever your brand gets mentioned, even if you’re not tagged. Say “thank you” if you get a positive mention, and apologize and work to resolve the issue if it’s a negative mention, just like Made.com does in the following example.
3. Experiment with Instagram story stickers
Don’t dismiss Story Stickers as nothing more than a fun way for teens to play around. They can make your Instagram Stories even better and serve as an active tool for lead generation. Here are a few ideas, although you can definitely come up with more.
- Use CTA stickers like “DM me” to encourage viewers to get in touch directly.
- Include a link sticker to share the landing page for your email newsletter signup or a gated resource squeeze page.
- The uses for Instagram Questions Stickers are practically endless. You could apply them to:
- Invite followers to share their feedback.
- Ask a specific question to better understand their preferences, like “Do you prefer green Doritos or yellow ones?”
- Repurpose it into a lead generation form, where you ask visitors to enter their email address in the “answer” slot to receive your lead magnets.
- Turn the question on its head to answer FAQs about your new feature, service, product, version, etc. That’s what MadeInNature do here:
- Hashtag stickers are a great way to promote your campaign and encourage people to tag you on their UGC, especially if you’re running an Instagram contest.
- Poll stickers offer a way to drive engagement while asking questions that help you understand your audience better.
- Quiz stickers can be used as part of a contest.
- Use fun GIF stickers to direct viewers to the most important parts of your story, like the “Swipe up.”
Whether or not you use stickers in your Instagram Stories, remember to add the best ones to your highlights. This will increase visibility and give followers a chance to revisit them and see Stories they might have missed.
Using Stickers and Instagram Stories creatively results in generating leads.
4. Make the most of Instagram Live
Video content is always popular and has high conversion rates. Similarly, Instagram videos go down particularly well. Especially with the wide array of video tools that make the content creation easier for all businesses.
Instagram reports that 91% of users watch an Instagram video every week, and the audience keeps on growing. Lead ads in Instagram Reels reached some 686.9 million people in April 2022, but three months later, that had increased to 754.8 million.
Creating videos on Instagram is highly effective, but live video is particularly the most effective. This is because people are motivated to view it while the live broadcast is running, creating a sense of urgency.
Here are some top ways to use Instagram Live for lead generation:
- During the video, tell viewers an easy-to-remember URL for your email signup page so they’ll get notified about your next Live, or share how to join your WhatsApp group for exclusive product drops.
- Shoot an Instagram Live as a teaser for your on-site content, and then tell people to visit your website for the full video.
- Combine Instagram Live with vcita’s Events feature. Create an event on Instagram, paste it into your vcita Event page, and add the page to your bio link. Using this small business management platform, it’s easy to collect RSVPs through pre-event promotions, and ask them for their email address or mobile number so you can send reminder alerts when the Live begins. Now your event registrants are in your CRM, making it easy to nurture them over time.
- Drive engagement without overt lead capture, like by responding live to viewers’ comments or questions. Pin your topic in the comment for those who arrive late, and prepare a couple of stimulating questions for viewers to spark engagement. Make sure you open up to questions before you sign off.
- Don’t forget to end your Live by telling viewers when to expect the next one.
5. Team up with niche Instagram influencers
Influencer marketing is hardly new to the social media marketing mix, but today it’s all about using niche-specific micro influencers, rather than those with a huge following. These influencers may have fewer followers, but their tribes are generally far more engaged, more loyal, and more responsive.
You might need to use a few niche influencers rather than one larger Instagram influencer, but that’s a feature, not a bug. This way, you can connect with different segments of your audience in a more targeted and meaningful manner. Those closer relationships naturally grow into more leads.
When choosing an influencer to work with, make sure it’s someone who connects with your brand style, niche and values. Working with someone who’s a bad fit will be worse than working with nobody at all, because it can create misunderstandings around your brand.
It’s best to look for someone who matches your brand voice, but doesn’t have too much overlap with your existing audience, so you can reach new leads.
One popular approach is to let an influencer take over your Instagram feed for the day. In this way their authentic voice comes through and their followers grow accustomed to your content.
Alternatively, you can have influencers showcase your product or service in Instagram posts, like Doe Lashes did by working with small and micro influencers like @aquinomara to generate more leads on Instagram.
Once people connected with Doe through the influencer, Doe could follow up with more content and convert them to paying customers.
6. Create the right Instagram contest
Everybody loves a contest, but you need to construct it in a way which helps to generate leads — ideally in the form of email addresses and subscriptions to your newsletters.
There are so many ways that you could play this one, so here are just a few ideas.
- Direct people to a customized, personalized landing page where they complete a lead form with the relevant details.
- Ask people to share user-generated content.
- Request entrants to tag some friends and to share the contest announcement Instagram posts with a powerful call to action.
- Require people to share their email address to enter the contest, like Universal Standard did here in their Instagram posts:
7. Run Instagram lead generation ad campaigns
Instagram ads are nothing to sneeze at. In the last year, Instagram grew its ad reach by 21%, or another 257 million pairs of eyes.
So, an Instagram lead gen ad could potentially be seen by 1.48 billion people.
Instagram lead generation ads are managed through the Facebook Ad Manager, and are specifically designed to make it easy for you to request and for people to share their contact information. You can even include pre-fill questions which automatically pull data from the person’s profile to remove friction.
To create a lead gen ad on Instagram:
- Visit Facebook Ad Manager and specify that you want to advertise on Instagram.
- Choose “Lead Generation” as the purpose of the ad with the right lead generation objective.
- Set your fields (e.g. email address, phone number for WhatsApp messaging, preferred kind of breakfast cereal, date of birth for birthday emails, and so forth).
- Tell them what you’ll do with their information and reassure them that you won’t sell it or share it without their permission.
For the best results, you should use a lookalike audience to put your ad in front of people who don’t yet follow your brand, but match the Instagram account of those who do.
You can also take the information you get from your lead generation ad campaign and Instagram feed it back into your Instagram marketing strategy, so you can refine your ad targeting across all channels.
Instagram Can Be Your Lead Generation Buddy
In short, Instagram isn’t only good for raising your brand profile. There are also plenty of ways to put it to work gathering email addresses and phone numbers for you.
By working your bio, Instagram Stories, and Live videos with stickers, event reminders, and link in bio tools; delivering customer support; running contests and lead generation ads; and working with the right influencers, you can turn Instagram into a bona fide lead generation powerhouse.
Don’t have time to manage these strategies on your own? Our recommendation is to hire an agency. With the help of social media experts you could turn this platform into a key tool for your business success.